Periodically, there’s an article about how Little Italy is dead or dying. Yes, it’s more of a tourist destination and less of a neighborhood where Italian people live. There are still some Italians there, and there are Italian-American-owned businesses there. A recent article in the New York Times made me want to write a series on Little Italy Isn’t Dead and feature some of the businesses there.
E. Rossi & Co.
E. Rossi & Co. is a Little Italy and New York institution. The third-generation store started out in 1910 as a music publisher and it used to be on the corner of Mulberry and Grand Streets. My family has been going here for generations. It’s always been cramped and stocked with a lot of tchotchke. Mostly, they carry kitchen items–all kinds–and some that are essential for Italians like cheese graters and wooden spoons. They also carry CDs, DVDs, religious articles and statues, aprons, T-shirts, dish towels, and much more. You’ll frequently find the friendly owner, Ernest Rossi, singing. The New York Times did a profile of him last year. He’ll go out of his way to help you find what you’re looking for, as he did for me, when I was looking for Italian-themed dish towels from various regions of Italy.